Troy Hill Outkicks the Coverage and checks in on everything from Rex Ryan’s impact in Buffalo to Darrelle Revis’ mom and anything in between.
Adrian Peterson is ready for a raise and we are all more than ready for training camp to begin. As I take a deep breath to gather my thoughts, it’s time to start thinking about planning those fantasy drafts. The gentlemen in my long time 10-team home league have decided to celebrate our 12th league year with a little end of the summer jaunt to Las Vegas. Every year should be a celebration when 10 guys in their late 30s and early 40s set aside a few days late in August to hang out without the wives, girlfriends or kids and just celebrate being men. And what’s the best way to celebrate being men? Whiskey, steaks and selecting professional athletes to score points on your imaginary team you spent far too long coming up with a name for.
But my friends, I am getting way ahead of myself. We are still nearly two full months away from making those gut wrenching decisions that will determine our level of happiness from September through December. For now, it is just June. This is the time to start planning that summer vacation. To find that place in the sun near the water, where you will lay in a comfortable chair while carefully examining statistics upon statistics of previous seasons and upcoming projections. With a margarita in one hand and a yellow highlighter in the other, you will lay the ground work for your glorious return to the championship game. So with that, let’s Outkick the Coverage and take a quick tour around the league and see how everyone’s offseason is going thus far.
My Only Thought On Deflate-Gate
Everything since the Ray Rice case has been a debacle. You may disagree but in hindsight, I believe the NFL should have just kept the Ray Rice punishment ‘as is.’ Right or wrong, I would have preferred that Roger Goodell had just issued his ruling and let it stand. Revising penalties, leaving them open-ended and now going heavy-handed on the Patriots just to ensure there isn’t another Ray Rice fiasco is just plain ridiculous. The NFL appears weak and is getting pushed around by owners and teams as they wrongly try to appease everyone. I prefer my commissioner to rule fairly with an iron fist and make no apologies. Much like a fantasy league, a wishy-washy commissioner will just lead to a league full of chaos. This is what the NFL feels like now.
The brash bravado of Rex Ryan has flipped western New York on it’s head. The Buffalo Bills have announced that they have set a new record for season tickets sold, selling the most since the glory years of the early 1990s. Rex still may not have a quarterback and hasn’t talked Super Bowl yet (he’s aiming a little lower by only predicting a playoff berth) but he’s creating enough hope and optimism that Bills fans and players are all buying in. As it should be. Still, Ryan’s mojo seems to be waning a bit as he continues to grasp for anything to add a little extra motivation to the Jets/Bills rivalry. He seems to have taken extreme offense to a rather innocuous statement by second year Jets tight end Jace Amaro who said that some Jets players weren’t “held accountable for being late” which probably seems like the least inflammatory thing his former players could say about last season in New York.
The Evolution of Mom Dancing Stopped in New England
The Patriots had a little soiree to celebrate their latest Super Bowl victory but Darrelle Revis elected not to attend because he presumably didn’t want to party with a bunch of guys who “have a history of doing stuff.” Instead, Revis sent his mother to hit the dance floor with Tom Brady and Migos in his place to accept his Super Bowl ring. Unfortunately for her, she would not get the chance to shake her thing to “Trap Queen” as the Patriots security refused to allow her entry claiming the invite was non-transferable and was for players only. This was probably something that should have been brought to Revis attention YESTERDAY!
Going Back To Cali
The Rams, Raiders and Chargers were stylin’ and profilin’ as they met with the NFL’s Los Angeles Committee last week to discuss the probable moves by one or more of these franchises to Southern California. With two possible stadiums in the Los Angeles market in the works, including one headed up by Rams owner Stan Kroenke, the question is not if a team will move to LA but when. In the end, as a resident of Los Angeles, I’m going to have to insist that all three of these teams remain in their respective cities. A team in Los Angeles is going to have to be a glamor team to succeed and that’s definitely not the Raiders. The Rams were a glamor team when they had the Greatest Show on Turf but Jeff Fisher has them now mired in an old school run based offense. The Chargers may be LA’s only hope but if they were to come home I will demand that they make their powder blues the official uniform.
Better With Gronk?
The Summer of Gronk got off to an early start with Rob politely suggesting we could deflate “deez nuts.” Delightful. Gronkowski has enjoyed the Super Bowl offseason upgrading his party bus to a party ship and taping an upcoming episode of Celebrity Family Feud with his siblings set to air in a few weeks. The Summer of Gronk unfortunately will be coming to an end prematurely as Poppa Belichick will soon be calling him back into the fort and locking up the beast until he unleashes him for the NFL season. But until that happens, we must revel in all of his glory.With that in mind, I often find myself asking “Would Gronk Make This Better?” This week, I wondered aloud “Would Gronk have made Mad Max Fury Road better?” At first blush, the answer is no. Tom Hardy played the stoic Mad Max to perfection and it would be difficult to imagine Gronk’s constant guffaw in that role. Could he have played Immortan Joe’s muscle man Rictus Erectus? Gronk undoubtedly has the physique and imposing stature, but again, I don’t think that would work. How about the flame throwing guitar wielding Doof Warrior? Now we’re onto something. Gronk would have been a perfect fit jamming out and pumping up the army of misfits on wheels and propelling them into battle. In the end, yes, Gronk would have made Mad Max Fury Road better.
J.J. Watt & Friends
Regardless of which team is selected, the Hard Knocks program on HBO is required viewing. We may never reach the heights of the year the Jets were selected as host allowing Rex Ryan to curse his way into our hearts, but J.J. Watt and friends will be entertaining nonetheless. The guy seems like one of the more affable players in the league, not to mention one of the hardest workers on and off the field. I’m not going to begrudge the Texans as the team of choice this year as much as my morbid curiosity would have preferred an insight into the Browns think tank. Or stink tank as it were. J.J. Watt will be more than enjoyable enough for me to watch.
BREAKING: Every Team Loves Every Player They Drafted or Signed
Oh the offseason, how I love you so. We are bombarded daily with reports that all rookie players are “better than advertised” or already “up to speed” on the playbook. Free agent acquisitions have been “impressive” and are a “perfect fit.” To date, there have been zero reports indicating a team has admitted to making a “horrible mistake” in their draft or that a coach is “filled with regret” by signing player X when they should have signed player Y. This is the offseason where everything is rosy and everyone is still in shorts and t-shirts. Once training camp begins and contact can be made, the shine of free agency and the draft will fade away and fans will be hit with the stark reality of what their team really is. So cherish the offseason now my friends and bask in the never ending supply of hope while you can.